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7:37 AM PT: NY-27: My jaw just hinged open and didn't want to shut after I read this. Major, major props to Adama Brown for this find about Republican Chris Collins, running against Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul in New York's 27th Congressional District:
The healthcare reforms Collins said he would push would be tort reform and open up competition in insurance by allowing policies across state lines.
Collins also argued that modern healthcare is expensive for a reason.
"People now don't die from prostate cancer, breast cancer and some of the other things," Collins said. "The fact of the matter is, our healthcare today is so much better, we're living so much longer, because of innovations in drug development, surgical procedures, stents, implantable cardiac defibrillators, neural stimulators—they didn't exist 10 years ago. The increase in cost is not because doctors are making a lot more money. It's what you can get for healthcare, extending your life and curing diseases."
As Brown points out, prostate cancer kills almost 30,000 men
a year (PDF) in the United States, while breast cancer kills nearly 40,000 women
each year (PDF). I am absolutely dumbfounded, and I hope Hochul hammers Collins to pieces on this. I am troubled by one thing, though, which is that this quote originally appeared over a week ago, yet neither the Hochul campaign nor the DCCC seems to have picked up on it. Fortunately, there's still time to remedy that oversight.
7:55 AM PT: FL-22: So it begins: the flood of second-quarter fundraising numbers, that is. Former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel once again had a huge haul, pulling in $400K. No word on her cash-on-hand, though. I'll be curious to see what Kristin Jacobs, her Democratic primary opponent, raises, as well as Adam Hasner, the GOPer waiting in the wings for the winner of the Frankel-Jacobs contest.
8:11 AM PT: Rhode Island: And then there were two. Rhode Island's filing deadline has come and gone, and you can find complete candidate lists at the link. That leaves just Delaware and Louisiana as states where the filing deadline is still open.
8:19 AM PT: Site News: I'm very pleased to announce our first Featured Writer at Daily Kos Elections: dreaminonempty, a longtime Kossack whose excellent in-depth examinations of polling you may have already encountered on the sidebar. Dreamin's stand-alone work, which includes a lot of deep dives into the Daily Kos/SEIU raw polling data, will now appear on the Elections front page. Please give him a hearty welcome!
8:22 AM PT: IL-08: Just when you didn't think it was possible, GOP freshman Joe Walsh has reached a new low. Listen to him describe his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, at a recent town hall:
WALSH: Understand something about John McCain. His political advisers, day after day, had to take him and almost throw him against a wall and hit him against the head and say, "Senator, you have to let people know you served! You have to talk about what you did!" He didn't want to do it, wouldn't do it. Day after day they had to convince him. Finally, he talked a little bit about it, but it was very uncomfortable for him. That's what's so noble about our heroes. Now I'm running against a woman who, my God, that's all she talks about. Our true heroes, it's the last thing in the world they talk about. That's why we're so indebted and in awe of what they've done.
9:04 AM PT: TX-33: State Rep. Marc Veasey continues to roll up endorsements as he heads to the Democratic runoff against ex-state Rep. Domingo Garcia. The latest is from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC. Veasey is African-American, but interestingly, Rep. E.B. Johnson says candidates backed by the CBC "do not necessarily have to be African-American but rather they simply have to demonstrate that they are the best person to represent the interests of our community." I'd be curious to see a list of their recent endorsements, but they don't seem to have one on their website.
9:14 AM PT: DeMint: Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund, which has raised and spent a legit amount over the last few years in an effort to elect ultra-conservatives to Congress, is morphing into a super PAC so that the group can seek unlimited donations from big fish. That means that DeMint has to formally sever ties with the organization because specific rules limit the role elected officials can play in super PACs, but the restrictions are pretty minimal. And most of the group's work has been carried out by DeMint operatives anyway, so really this just means DeMint will become even more of a pain in the ass for the rest of the Republican caucus.
9:20 AM PT: Dark Money: OpenSecrets identifies a serious disclosure loophole when it comes to super PACs:
Any super PAC choosing to submit its reports to the FEC on a quarterly schedule must file a pre-election report detailing its finances—including donors' names -- before a primary in which it is active. But then there's a black hole—a period of 20 days before the primary election, during which the group can take in and spend money without disclosing its donors until the next quarterly filing.
In other words, by timing their expenditures just right in the races on which they focused, these super PACs are able to keep their donors under the radar until after the primaries. The public will learn who the contributors were on July 15.
Nine such super PACs spent $1.3 million in this manner during the second quarter, playing in primaries while hiding their donors. Here's just one example:
The spending patterns of the Conservatives Acting Together PAC, or CATPAC, demonstrate the loophole. The super PAC filed a pre-primary report on May 16 disclosing all donors and expenditures from April 5 to May 9. CATPAC reported having received just $20,500 in contributions, and that it was down to less than $25 cash on hand.
Yet the day after its report, CATPAC made a nearly $100,000 radio buy supporting Michael Williams' bid for the GOP nomination in Texas' 25th congressional district.
9:32 AM PT: TX-Sen: It seems a bit odd that so few members of Texas's congressional delegation have endorsed in the Senate GOP runoff. On Monday, Rep. Michael Burgess became just the second to do so, along with Ron Paul; they're both backing Ted Cruz. One unnamed GOP operative suggests people are feeling "burned" after taking sides in the last big Republican primary fight in Texas: the 2010 gubernatorial battle between Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. I guess you'd only feel burned, though, if you backed KBH! Wikipedia actually has a list, and funny enough, Burgess actually supported Hutchison.
10:16 AM PT: HI-Sen: Rep. Mazie Hirono is touting a two-week-old survey from her pollster, the Benenson Strategy Group, which shows her up 53-38 over ex-Rep. Ed Case in the Democratic primary. That's very similar to the last Benenson poll we saw all the way back in November, which had Hirono leading 54-36. As before, the Hirono campaign did not release general election matchups.
10:28 AM PT: OH-Sen: Republican Josh Mandel, the alleged treasurer of the state of Ohio, has reportedly made a $4 million television ad reservation for this fall. You'll recall that the DSCC recently reserved over $5 mil in TV time as well.
10:38 AM PT: NC-08: So of course Rep. Larry Kissell, always a wobbly vote at best and now trying to win re-election in a much redder district, is doing everything in his power to distance himself from the Democratic Party. Last week, he voted to holder Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, and now he says he won't endorse Obama, may not attend the Democratic convention (even though it's taking place right next door to his district), and will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
It's that last bit which makes me wonder about his political acumen, though. Yes, Kissell voted against the ACA when it first passed Congress, but in January of 2011, when Republicans took back control of the House, one of the first roll calls they scheduled was a vote on repeal. And at the time, Kissell voted against repeal, saying it was time "to look forward and work to make things better." If he wanted to repeal the ACA, he could have voted in favor of doing so a year-and-a-half ago. So how exactly is he going to sell this flip-flop now?
10:46 AM PT: FL-26: This is amusing: Rep. David Rivera, whose case of cooties is so serious that virtually none of his fellow Republicans want to breathe the same air as him, is is now acting like he's too good for Mitt Romney! Rivera says that because of Romney's stance on immigration, he won't act as a surrogate for the presumptive GOP nominee. How terrible for Mitt! I'm sure he's inconsolable about this news.
10:52 AM PT: IN-Gov: Evidently, the RGA must not think it has the Indiana governor's race in the bag, seeing as how they recently donated a cool $1 million directly to Republican Rep. Mike Pence's gubernatorial campaign. Second quarter fundraising reports are not due in the Hoosier State until July 16, but candidates are required to disclose any donations over $10,000 within a week of receiving them. That gives us a partial sense of how fundraising has been going: In large donations over the last three months, Pence has pulled in $1.7 million in total, while Democrat John Gregg has raised over $800K.
10:53 AM PT: So as you can see, without that RGA infusion, Gregg would have led Pence among big donors. (The DGA has not contributed to Gregg's campaign.)
10:57 AM PT: Ohio: PPP shows a positive trend on the gay marriage front in Ohio, but the generic congressional ballot has gotten a bit worse for Democrats. The last time they asked, back in May (PDF), Dems led 45-41. Now it's all tied at 43 apiece.
11:16 AM PT: NJ-05: After Rep. Steve Rothman's loss to fellow Rep. Bill Pascrell in the NJ-09 Democratic primary, we'd dreamed up a fantasy scenario whereby Adam Gussen would step aside in NJ-05 and Dems would appoint Rothman as a replacement candidate to take on Rep. Scott Garrett. Of course, that was beyond unlikely, since Rothman chose not run in the 5th in the first place. But now this late-nite sports call-in radio-type pipe dream definitely won't happen, since Rothman says in a new interview that he's done running for office: "I'm not going to try again. This is the end. I know the cost and I don't want to pay it any more."
11:43 AM PT (David Jarman): Demographics: Could a land developer's marketing decisions be responsible for tipping the nearly 50-50 political balance in Florida? Adam Smith has an interesting man-on-the-street piece about Osceola County, Florida (south of Orlando), one of the fastest-growing counties in the state and the center of Hispanic growth in the I-4 corridor. Maybe the most interesting detail, though, is the decision by a suburban developer to aggressively market its new subdivisions to Puerto Ricans, both on the island and in the New York area, spurring the huge influx of new Puerto Rican residents. The tough part, it seems, isn't so much about getting the new residents interested in politics or converting them to the Democratic agenda, though, as much as it's about turning their attention away from parochial Puerto Rican issues (the independence vs. commonwealth issues that dominate politics there) and over toward presidential and congressional politics.
11:50 AM PT (David Jarman): CA-30: Redistricting Partners has done a helpful slice-and-dice of the precinct-level results in the Top 2 primary in the 30th, which, as expected, saw the resolution of the Battle of the -ermans (Brad Sherman and Howard Berman) get deferred to November. They find that Latino voters broke heavily for Sherman, while Jewish voters broke heavily for Berman. Sherman won more narrowly among Asians, while Sherman finished 2nd among Republicans (after GOPer Mark Reed). On the balance, that was enough to propel Sherman to a 41-31 victory over Berman in the first round.
11:55 AM PT: OH-16: A new poll for House Majority PAC and SEIU, from Normington Petts, shows Dem Rep. Betty Sutton with a slight lead over GOP Rep. Jim Renacci, 41-38. Libetarian Jeff Blevins is at 4. That's good news, and it's also pretty similar to the only other survey we've seen of this incumbent-vs.-incumbent race, a Democratic internal conducted all the way back in October which had the contest tied at 45 apiece. It's worth noting that this battle is being fought mostly on Renacci's turf: He currently represents 42% of the redrawn 16th while Sutton represents just 21%. This is also a district McCain won 51-47. If Renacci has any contrary polling, we haven't seen it.
11:56 AM PT: PA-03: Missa Eaton (D): $84K raised
12:06 PM PT: Uhh, is Kathy Hochul's entire campaign website just a splash page?
12:39 PM PT (David Jarman): WA-01: State Sen. (and National Guard member) Steve Hobbs has tried to stake out the manly-man segment in the Dem primary-within-a-primary in the 1st, and over the weekend he received a couple endorsements that should help him make that case: he got the backing of the national Fraternal Order of Police, and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters.
3:00 PM PT (David Jarman): OH-Init: Here's some good news, although a few years too late to be of much use to us this redistricting cycle: it looks like there will be enough signatures to get an initiative on Ohio's November ballot to create a California-style independent redistricting commission for the state. The commission would have four Dems, four GOPers, and four independents, and would have authority over both congressional and legislative redistricting (currently the state legislature handles congressional redistricting, while a commission of statewide elected officials does legislative redistricting). We Are Ohio, the main force behind the 2011 referendum that preserved collective bargaining rights, is supporting the measure, while the state's Republicans -- no doubt mindful of the destruction wrought by California's commission -- are opposed.
3:09 PM PT (David Jarman): MT-Sen: We'd previously mentioned that the Montana state Democratic party was getting a big check from the DSCC to do a $400K ad buy (since the state party can apparently lock in lower rates than the DSCC), gigantic by Montana standards. The Montana Dems, in recent days, swapped in a new ad for the remaining days of the buy, which runs through July 9; this one goes after Denny Rehberg for voting for tax breaks for millionaires.
3:28 PM PT (David Jarman): NE-Sen: The Nebraska state Democratic party is also getting in on the ad-buying act (though there's no word on whether they're be underwritten by the DSCC this time). The state party is out with an ad hitting Deb Fischer for signing on to Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge. No word on the size of the buy.
4:22 PM PT: WV-Sen: Whoa. I'm not sure I've heard a crazier, more over-the-top voice-over than the serial killer/megalomaniac Bond Villain/evil arch-wizard voice that recites this roll call of the "Gang of Four" supposedly anti-coal figures, as produced by Republican John Raese's fevered mind. I say "fevered" because, love him or hate him, it's pretty damn hard to paint Dem Sen. Joe Manchin as anti-coal. (The other three horsemen of the coal-pocalypse: EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, United Mine Workers president Cecil Roberts, and, of course, Barack Obama.) Is Raese's polling really telling him that this is a weakness for Manchin?
4:23 PM PT: SEIU: The SEIU is throwing down for paid staffers in a bunch of races: WI-Sen, NV-Sen, OH-Sen, NV-04, CO-06, and US-Pres, for some $210K in total.
4:30 PM PT: MT-Sen: It looks like the pro-Dem Patriot Majority USA is another spending $88K to attack GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, but the ad (titled "Lucky") hasn't shown up on their YouTube account yet. (They previously ran this spot.)
4:32 PM PT: NC-08: GOP Rep. Eric Cantor's YG Action Fund is playing in another Republican primary, though at least this time, there are no incumbents involved. The group is spending $23K on mailers attacking former Iredell County Commissioner (and dentist) Scott Keadle, in an effort to boost one-time congressional aide Richard Hudson.